Up Next

Between Master and Disciples / The Life of Lord Mahavira

The Life of Lord Mahavira: Last Calamity-Nails in the Ears, Part 2 of 3, Dec. 24, 2019

Lecture Language:English,Mandarin Chinese(中文)
Download Docx
Read More

So, the Lord Mahavira mostly, He always stood. We read in this story that He was standing to meditate. The reason He did that was because He didn't want to fall asleep.

Now, I'm reading something for you. This is the last calamity for Lord Mahavira, namely, “Nails in the Ears.” It's terrible. Imagine that? Be prepared. Otherwise, you might feel too shocked, and too painful, mentally. "After spending the 12th monsoon-stay of His period of practices in Champa, Lord Mahavira Swami arrived outside a village named Chhammani and stood in meditation. It was dusk and a cowherd was returning home from his farm. He said, 'Ascetic! Please look after my oxen. I will return in a few minutes.'"

By the way, cameramen, you have to also show this side sometimes. It's bias. Because I saw on Supreme Master TV, mostly only show this side. And this side, just a split second sometimes. What have you against the men, my men? My handsome men. Somebody else's husbands. But we are also married somehow, spiritually. Different relationship. And I'm glad it's that way. Actually, like Mother Teresa, she also wore a ring, like all the nuns in her order. Or maybe some other nuns in other orders as well, they wear a ring. It symbolizes the marrying to Jesus. So they stay single. Be faithful to one husband only, even though He no longer exists. If they know what their husband looks like now, if He ever comes back. He might not look the same. Yeah! Nobody looks the same all the time, during incarnations, after incarnations.

I want to say something here. I want to put the calendar here. You know when you think Lord Mahavira is just standing to meditate all the time, standing, and you think it's easy, it's not. We are not donkeys. Donkeys and horses, they can sleep standing. They have four columns for support. And even if you sleep, with the two hands in the front, two feet, you don't feel the same like the donkey. They have a different mechanism. The make-up of the body is different. Their power is different. They're born that way. They're endowed with that ability. We cannot. So, the Lord Mahavira mostly, He always stood. We read in this story that He was standing to meditate. The reason He did that was because He didn't want to fall asleep. If you are sitting, the way you are in samadhi, it's very easy to fall asleep. It's obvious. Well, not when I am there. Maybe you try very hard to nod to my talk, but I'm not sure your eyes are also nodding at the same time. Very difficult for you, I'm sorry, because you have jet lag, and good excuse, and also eat a lot of good food. And here you have nothing to do. No husbands, no wives, no telephone, no computer, no business, nada (nothing). Only meditation, so, it's easy to relax. Even if you have nothing to do, but if you stand for a long time, you'll feel tired. Maybe maximum 20 minutes, 30 minutes. Maybe you can try it at home. Better put a lot of cushions around. Because the way you sit, you’re already so easy to... You love the earth, I know, so you always try to... It's always like you gravitate towards the earth somehow. So if you stand a long time, I'm worried about your floor. You might put a dent everywhere. So, better put cushions around, in case. So maybe, better just sit.

So, the cowherd just told the Lord Mahavira, “Ascetic, look after my cows.” And then left, just like that, as if the practitioners have nothing else to do but conveniently stand somewhere and they look after his household work. Like last time, I told you, in Taiwan (Formosa), the Taiwanese (Formosan) people got sick so easily, and they took a lot of medicine easily, so they got more sick easily. So, we have a lot of hospitals, even not enough. Even one nun, the compassionate Master Cheng Yen, I think; she had to found a foundation and gather all the good doctors and nurses to build some hospitals for Taiwan (Formosa). A nun is supposed to follow the Buddha, don’t do much work, except in the ashram, and follow the Buddha; go everywhere for alms or for preaching, or go around to preach to lay people, to awaken their aspiration for enlightenment. But she had to worry, take care of administrative problems, getting the funds to build the hospital and organizing builders or architects, and what not. It’s not so easy to find architects everywhere. Even in our group, I think we have only two or three architects. I mean, in Taiwan (Formosa). I’m not talking about others abroad; we have more, of course. So, for a nun to be able to do that, she sacrificed a lot of her practicing time, because of her compassion. Like, they call it Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation. What is it in Chinese? (Tzu Chi Foundation.) Meaning compassionate meritorious association. So, in order to find all these architects and builders and materials on the small island like this, it was not all that easy for her. I know that from my own experience. Or maybe she had better luck; she found better architects, better disciples, better builder disciples, or outside disciples or outside non-disciples. I don’t know. But my experience is totally very, very below zero disappointment. I also do not blame them, because maybe it’s my price that I have to pay. It’s just that even if it’s the price, it’s difficult to find people to work. It’s very unfavorable for my job to organize things and to build things for all of you to come, to be comfortable, to sit comfortable against the elements; especially for seven-days, we have no break. We have to meditate day and night. You should meditate at night also. You try. Only one week is not much.

I told you the story about Roshi Kapleau already. For two weeks long, they meditated in the temple in Japan. And if you sleep, they’d go and beat you. Not painfully, just to wake you up, a little bit. And, lucky they don’t have a lot of people there to meditate. If that temple had, like you here, so many numbers, I think the monk would be very tired. Going beating everybody, all of you. I don’t see anyone that does not deserve to be beaten. I mean at different times, of course. You take turns, you know that. Maybe the first group takes a relaxing posture and then the next one. You take turns somehow, but even then, so many people to wake up, I think the monk would be very, very exhausted. So, they meditated day and night for two weeks long. And after the retreat was over, the master requested to meditate one more week. So Roshi Kapleau said, “No, no, I can’t. I’m American. I can’t.” Americans, they have longer legs, you know. They’re not used to squashing on the floor, blah, blah, blah. But then, the master said, “You can do more than you think. Just sit, meditate.” And he did it, like other monks in the temple. That was him. If it was me, I don’t know. I would just do like you do. Like disciple, like Master. I just enjoy my dream, somewhere. Ahh! Sorry! Sorry brother, sorry sister, not intentionally. I’m telling you. People are so funny. Not only they don’t go into renunciation, to keep themselves progressing in the spiritual practice, they even see one who tried to practice, like He had nothing to do. “Take care of my cows,” just like that. Last time, there was another cowherd also told Lord Mahavira to take care of his cows. And then the cows got lost somewhere and then he blamed Him, he beat Him up, etc. Just like that.

People in this world are truly funny, cruel and so ignorant. So un-good. I want to say “bad,” but I don’t. Sometimes, when I’m talking to you, I’m in the present time all the time, and the story becomes vividly present to me, that I forget to speak in the past tense. You should understand. Like instead of “did,” I say “do;” instead of “was,” I say “is.” It’s OK, who cares. I’m not pretending to be an English professor and knowing all the English grammar, or stuff like that. Nowadays, I’m too busy. Sometimes, like I wrote something, commented on some of the script, and I wrote the word, “Taiwan,” but I said only “Taiwa.” I forgot the “n” at the end and continued writing. Until later, somebody asked me, “What is ‘Tai?’ Tai what, Master?” So I said, “You guess, what else? Is there any other ‘Tai’ around here?” I covered myself. I wouldn’t admit that I was wrong. Just one “n.” Just put it on and be quiet. Sometimes I put one “l” less or one “t” more, because I write quicker than I can think, quicker than my mind can react. The inspiration comes out quickly, even during the working time. Not just during a lecture or anything. So, it’s like that. Sometimes, I write one “n” less or one “e” more. Who cares? Doesn’t matter. I just want to let you know that I’m not uneducated. OK? (OK.) In case any of you think like that, it’s wrong. Think again. I have a doctor’s degree. No. For what? For what? Just for fun. I couldn’t make any use of that doctor’s degree anyway. I don’t even know where I put it right now. I keep moving all the time; I forget many things. I lost many things; all useless things anyway. Whatever doesn’t belong to the spiritual realm, is all useless if you lost it. They’re only useful when you have to use it for more noble purposes. Otherwise, they’re all useless.

So, the cowherd, after leaving the cows to the reluctant cowboy, Lord Mahavira, he left. Just like that. Didn’t even wait for the Lord Mahavira to come out of samadhi and nod in agreement or not. Just said, “Take care of my cows, you ascetic.” And then left. So, “The cowherd went into the village and returned a little late. The oxen had drifted away grazing. Not finding his oxen, he asked, ‘Ascetic, where are my oxen?’” Typical. “Lord Mahavira was in deep meditation still and unaware of all this.” Even if the Lord Mahavira wasn’t in deep meditation, He still could not pay attention to all the cows. There were many of them, and His mind wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on such things. The cowherd asked Him like that. So, the Master wasn't aware of anything like that. So, “The cowherd asked again, and once again, and he did not get any response. He got irritated and shouted, ‘You, hypocrite! Are you deaf? Don't you hear anything?’ Lord Mahavira still did not respond.” When the soul goes somewhere else, you hear nothing. You're not aware of things in this world at all. Absolutely. But it’s different also, depends, yeah? Lord Mahavira was still in the beginning of His practice. Later on, He probably had to meditate with His eyes open and His ears turned on, because He would have a lot of responsibility later on. After He became completely enlightened and worthy to be a teacher, then He had to be all ears, all eyes, all day, 24/7. And that is for sure. So now, this was still the time that He could go deep into the universe and enjoy His own domain and freedom. So, He didn't hear anything. So, “This cowherd lost his temper. ‘You pretender, it seems that both your ears are useless. Wait a minute, I will give you proper treatment.’” Be prepared. You know, right? So, “He picked a long nail like a thorn from a nearby shrub.” Oh, he picked a thorn, some thorns, it looked like a long nail. “…from a nearby shrub of Kans grass and pierced the ears of Lord Mahavira deeply by hammering the thorns in. Even such an excruciating agony did not move Lord Mahavira from His meditation. Neither did it evoke any feeling of anger or aversion in Him.”

They’d better not try it on me. Maybe I won't have any aversion, but I might have anger. I will not hide. I will give him something, a piece of my ears or my mind. It’s terrible. So maybe the Lord Mahavira was completely out of His body, which is lucky. Otherwise, it would be excruciatingly painful, more than we can imagine. It goes through your brain and goes to the other side. “Completing His meditation in normal course, He went inside the village for alms. He arrived at the door of a trader named Shiddharth. A friend of the trader was sitting with him. He was a doctor. Both of them gave pure food to Mahashrahman with due respect. Doctor Kharak told Shiddharth, ‘Friend, the face of this Shaman has a divine glow, but there is a shade of tiredness too. Some inner pain is visible in His eyes.’” Maybe He did not feel pain, but some internal organs had pain, so these cells of the internal organs maybe showed the visible sign to the keen doctor. A good doctor. “‘I feel this great Sage suffers from some inner agony.’” Even then, He didn't say anything. My God. What a holy Saint! “Shiddharth replied, ‘Friend, if such a great Sage suffers from some kind of pain, we should immediately go and treat Him.’ After taking alms, Mahashrahman returned. Taking Doctor Kharak with him…” He means, the Lord Mahavira took alms already, so He returned to His meditating place at that moment. “And then Shiddharth took Doctor Kharak with him to go find Lord Mahavira, where He was sitting, where He rested.

Share To
Start Time
Watch in mobile browser
Scan the QR code,
or choose the right phone system to download